|I think new leather wheel and shifter recovering is a fabulous
upgrade. The wheel is the first thing I see and touch when driving the car and it's such a
pleasure having new leather.
Unfortunately removing the Celsior / LS 400 gearshift is
much harder than on the Soarer / SC400.
I popped out the two screw covers on the gearshift easy enough. They
have slots and tabs in the covers and they only go back one way. It was very tight to get
them back in the holes afterwards with the new leather cover.
The top wood surround is held by two clips near the cup holder. I used
fingers and a butter knife to gently lever the piece up.
The black surround with the ECT switch etc in it just pulled up.
Next comes the wire cutting. I was determined not to cut the wires. That
blue sheath contains two white wires that go to the overdrive button. It is held so
tightly with zip ties that the shifter won't move. If I was patient enough I could have
removed the blue plug, unpicked the the two white wires going into it and gently pulled it
all through and out the shifter gear stick. I find it so tight and fiddly in there that I
too just cut the blue sheath in half and rejoined it afterwards with those blue crimp butt
Once the blue sheath/white wires were cut the shifter can be pulled up
and away. Afterwards the white wires will have to be threaded back down the gearstick.
The overdrive button was levered out gently. When I reinstalled it the
button got stuck in the down position - I had to wiggle the whole assembly back out a
little bit to get it working smoothly again.
The standard stitch is a single thread. I had mine recovered in the
double thread baseball stitch. Smooth style stitch looks nice too.
I bought a spare Celsior wheel and shifter so my car wouldn't be off the
road while getting the leather done during the week. This is not the worst leather wheel I
have seen either!
The Celsior wheel comes with a cast in rubber coloured back cover. Which
is bit of a pain when it comes changeover time. Soarer wheels can be swapped for any
colour - but Celsior wheels have to be swapped tan for tan, grey for grey, chocolate brown
for chocolate brown. So I only have a change over for the tan interior Celsior / LS400.
For my Celsior I paid extra for the Perforated Sport Grips and 1mm
Control Foam under the leather. It is superb to drive with now. The Control Foam looks a
bit thicker (like most modern cars) and has a softer feel with more grip I feel. I love
it. I think it's worth paying the extra over the standard leather wheel recover.
Instructions on how to remove the wheel are the same for the Soarer and listed below.
Now the interior looks great - it all looks finished - no more worn
shiny shifter and wheel. It's even better to drive now.
It's always been a fabulous car - now it's even better. The dark grey
interior has a good matching leather no worries. The chocolate brown interior needs to
have the horn pad and rear of steering wheel painted to match the nearest leather colour
$190 for all Toyota wheels
+$10 for Control Foam
+$10 for Sport Grips
$55 for all shifters
$25 registered postage and handling within Australia. If living in Adelaide, Australia
we can organise a pickup instead of postage.
$20 fee plus $100 refundable deposit if, like me, you want to keep the car on the road
during the leather recovering and want to use the changeover set (available for tan
interiors only since the wheel is built in rubber coloured back cover)
Payment is by direct deposit or paypal (2% extra paypal fee). Email me for details.